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AbbVie brain cancer drug fails to improve survival in phase 3 study

AbbVie Inc. said its medicine Depatux-M failed to improve survival in patients with brain cancer when used as an add-on, in a late-stage study called Intellance-1 — prompting an independent data monitoring committee to recommend that it be stopped instead.

The North Chicago, Ill.-based biotechnology giant was evaluating Depatux-M against placebo in the phase 3 trial to treat newly diagnosed glioblastoma with the epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutation.

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

AbbVie said an interim analysis based on data from 639 patients showed that the trial did not meet its primary goal of improving overall survival. The company has halted enrollment in all ongoing Depatux-M studies as a result.

AbbVie said it will submit results from the study, which was conducted in collaboration with the RTOG Foundation, at a medical conference.